Rafale jets top agenda on Hollande's India trip
France's President Francois Hollande (L) speaks with the media as India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh looks on after the signing of agreements ceremony in New Delhi February 14, 2013. REUTERS Photo
French President Francois Hollande arrived in India on February 14 on his first trip to Asia since entering office last year. The two-day visit will be dominated by trade issues including a $12-billion contract for Rafale fighter jets, dubbed “the deal of the century” in France. It will also include nuclear energy agreements and potential tie-ups for new metro lines.
Hollande is accompanied by five ministers including Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. The leaders of more than 60 top French companies will also join him.
Both Indian and French officials have underscored the importance of
the trip. India's ambassador to Paris, Rakesh Sood, stressed that
Hollande had chosen the emerging Asian superpower for his first visit
outside Europe and French-speaking Africa since taking office.
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